Friday, November 25, 2005

Today in 1922 - Howard Carter's Diary

The wonderful Griffith Institute has the record of the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamun, as written in Carter's own diaries, on the above web page. The diaries start on the 28th October 1922. I thought it would be fun to mark the anniversary of the discovery by linking to extracts at the above sites over the coming days. The entry below represents the full diary entries for the 25th November, to give the full flavour, but over the next few days I will only enter extracts with links back to the above page for the full item. See the above web page for full details about this project:

"Opened first door.

Noted seals. Made photographic records, which were not, as they afterwards proved, very successful. Opened the first doorway; which comprised rough stones built up from the threshold to the lintel, plastered over on the outside face, and covered with numerous impressions from various seals of Tut.ankh.Amen and the Royal Necropolis seal. The removal of this blocking exposed the commencement of a completely blocked descending passage, the same width as the entrance staircase and rather more than 2 metres high. It was filled with its local stone and rubble, probably from its own excavation, but like the doorway it showed distinct traces of more than one filling; the mass of the filling being of clean white stone chips mingled with dust, while in the upper left hand corner a large irregular hole had been pierced through it which had been refilled with dark flint and chert stones. This coincided with reopenings and successive reclosings found on the sealed doorway.

As we cleared the passage we found mixed with the rubble broken potsherds, jar seals, and numerous fragments of small objects; water skins lying on the floor together with alabaster jars, whole and broken, and coloured pottery vases; all pertaining to some disturbed burial, but telling us nothing to whom they belonged further than by their type which was of the late XVIIIth Dyn. These were disturbing elements as they pointed towards plundering".
For more about the Griffith Institute and their excellent work see:

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